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Ferry captain injured in boat fire at sea

Date Posted: 2010-03-04

The 55-year-old captain of the passenger ferry Kuinupana suffered light burns when fire broke out on his vessel as it sailed about 4.4 kilometers from Taketomi Island in the southern Yaeyama District.

The 12-ton ferry was on the way from Ishigaki to Miijima Monday when fire broke out and eventually burned all of the tiop side of the vessel. The captain’s arm was burned, but none of the 10 passengers aboard—magazine photographers and reporters on assignment—and no other crew members were injured. The captain called the 11th Japan Coast Guard headquarters for assistance, and the passengers and crew were rescued.

The fire burned itself out in about two hours, but it was too late to save the ferry, which finally sank.

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